Kathleen Teresa Mugavin was born at Crossley, Western District of Victoria on July 11, 1914 to Michael and Mary Mugavin (nee Russell). Kathleen was the fourth child in a family of six. The eldest, Michael, died in infancy.
Growing up in a large Catholic family, Kathleen learnt early in life the importance of her faith and the value of loving family support. Kathleen attended St Brigid’s Primary School, Crossley and completed her secondary education at Koroit High School and St Scholastica’s College, Glebe Point, Sydney.
In 1933, Kathleen applied for admission to the Good Samaritan Novitiate at Pennant Hills and commenced a new phase in her life on May 24 that same year. At this time her sister, Ellen, Sister Mary Tarbula, was in the second year of her novitiate preparing for religious profession. Kathleen was given the religious name of Sister Mary Geraldine. She would later be followed in this vocational calling by her sister, Gertrude – Sister Mary Gertrude. Another of her sisters, Margaret, joined the Congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
On January 9, 1936, Geraldine made her profession of vows and moved to St Scholastica’s Training College where she gained her Certificate of Teaching. In 1937 she was appointed to St Dominic’s School Kandos and, at the end of that year, she transferred to St Joseph’s Narrabeen where she spent sevens years in the infants’ department.
Returning to her home state, Victoria, Geraldine took up positions in schools in Melbourne and the Western District areas over a period of 39 years. While in Coragulac she joined the role of superior of the local community to her classroom duties.
After leaving the school scene in 1984, Sister Geraldine continued her active involvement in parish visitation and in work for the St Vincent de Paul Society until in 1996 she took up residence at Marian House, Northcote. She was joined that year by Sister Gertrude. Their older sister Ellen (Sister Mary Tarbula) was already in residence there. This joy of family reunion was cut short by the death of Sister Gertrude on June 2, 1996.
In 2004 Sister Geraldine was one of the community to move from Marian House to South Morang Mews, where her usual friendly and welcoming disposition gained her many new friends. Her final days were spent at Villa Maria, Bundoora, where she died peacefully on March 24, 2014. She is survived by her devoted nephews, Michael and Kevin Butler and their families, and remembered with love and gratitude by many dear friends and her Sisters of the Good Samaritan.